Students learn about sustainable agriculture

Even hailstorms couldn’t stop a group of green-fingered school kids from giving back to the planet.

Grade 7 and 8 students at Duntroon School recently planted nearly 750 plants along Karara Creek as part of a North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group (Noslam) planting project.

Noslam co-ordinator Rob McTague said that by involving students, they are teaching sustainable farming practices to the next generation.

“It took 40 [or] 50 years to get the water quality to where it is, but we’re not going to fix it overnight because it’s taken so long,” Mr McTague said.

“These children are the farmers of the future. So we are starting to involve them now.”

They planted flax, toes, and two types of grasses that would reduce sediment runoff into the creek and improve water quality.

“We plant them about a meter apart and they form like a wall and through their root structure. They swell, just like the grasses you see on the beach and they catch all the sediment.”

The group had to weather three hailstorms to get the job done. It was the second planting organized by Noslam and the school. The first took place last December. About 17 of the students involved last year were back this time around.

Duntroon School Principal Mike Turner said the planting was a success and he looked forward to continuing the relationship with Noslam.

“We have told Noslam and we have had conversations with Noslam about maintaining this relationship,” Mr. Turner said.

“We hold [to do more plantings] and we might even get some of our younger kids to do it too. »

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About Keneth T. Graves

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